The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate whether lifestyle risk factors cluster and (b) to investigate the influence of this clustering on biological CVD risk factors. This study was part of the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study (AGHS), an observational longitudinal study in which 6 repeated measurements were carried out on 181 13-year-old subjects over a period of 15 years. A longitudinal analysis (carried out with generalized estimating equations) showed no significant clustering of lifestyle risk factors at the population level. For each subject at each separate measurement period, lifestyle risk factors were summed to form a cluster score. A longitudinal linear regression analysis showed no significant relationship between the cluster score and biological CVD risk factors, except for a significant inverse relationship with cardiopulmonary fitness. In general, however, the results did not support the assumption that clustering of unhealthy lifestyle is related to biological CVD risk factors.
The authors are with the EMGO Institute at Vrije Universiteit, vd Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam.